Disruptive times are HUGE opportunities!
‘The most important leadership qualities for the near future include: the ability to motivate staff (35%), the ability to work well across cultures (34%) and the ability to facilitate change (32%). The least important were technical expertise (11%) and ‘bringing in the numbers’ (10%)’. Growing Global Executive Talent was a study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
It’s time, then, to stop relying on past successes, established normal models of how things ‘ought to be’ and technical expertise as a leader. In the turbulent times we find ourselves in, the adaptable leaders who have the ability to develop and implement disruptive strategies will be most successful in their industries. When the rate of change outside your organisation exceeds the rate of change inside, you’re quickly becoming irrelevant in your marketplace. Maybe it’s time to think and act disruptively, no matter how successful you might have been thus far.
Only leaders who themselves are comfortable with change will be able to lead organisations that can think and act disruptively. Adaptability – the ability to change (or be changed) to fit new circumstances – is a crucial skill for leaders, and an important competency in emotional intelligence.
Successful strategies specifically need to set out a challenge for the organisation. This is not a challenge to ‘do more with less’ (i.e. deliver more revenue/growth using the same methods as last year but with fewer resources). Rather, it is a challenge to face changing times with changed scope, approaches and tactics.
These sorts of changes can be disruptive. There is, of course, a negative side to disruptive change, and it is necessary to think and act in ways that reduce risk. But, equally, turbulent and disruptive times bring huge opportunities as well. There are opportunities to extend one’s offerings to existing clients, find new clients for both existing and extended products and services, and change the business models that support these. Great questions that can get the right type of thinking started include:
Who else could use our products?
What else can our products be used for?
What do our best clients desperately want? Not ‘want from us’, but what needs and wants do our best clients have in their lives in general?
What else could we deliver/produce with little change to our core processes?
There are other ways to get to disruptive innovation, but these questions are a simple and great starting point.
Are you comfortable with change?
Excerpts from an article by Graeme Codrington.